Drumheller is changing the channel and becoming a flood ready community. We have seen our fair share of adversity from mother nature over the years with several major floods that have threatened our safety, property, local economy and proud heritage as the World’s Dinosaur Capital. As you know, just this Spring, we faced another State of Local Emergency due to overland flooding causing high water levels in the Rosebud river. Through it all, this community has shown strength, resilience, hard work, and above all, a true sense of community.
Changing climates have made the risk of flooding not only inevitable but imminent. It’s no longer a question of “if” but rather “when” and “how big” the next flood is going to be. As your Council, we have made flood readiness our number one priority because it is our role to keep residents safe and to protect our community as a whole.
What we know is that flooding may happen again as early as the next flood season. The bottom line is that we live in a flood-prone community. Whether or not your property or business has been affected from past flooding, we all live in this community, and we all need to recognize that flood-readiness should be a priority for every resident of Drumheller.
We have a lot of work ahead of us to make Drumheller flood-ready. To do so, we have identified five key areas of focus in the coming months:
- We are updating our Municipal Emergency Plan and creating a regional response team based on Alberta’s updated Emergency Management Act (Bill-8).
- We are creating a public education and awareness campaign with a dedicated flood-readiness webpage and newsletters to provide you with regular updates on plans and progress.
- We are reviewing and developing policies such as land use by-laws and municipal development plans.
- We are planning for integration with existing transportation and park systems, which means assessing how we can utilize our existing infrastructure to prevent flooding.
- We are creating a structural mitigation plan, which means determining where we need enhanced or new dykes and berms.
Our goal is to be flood-ready by Spring 2019. This doesn’t mean we will have all of the above completed, but we will have strategies to address critical areas to respond to the risk of flooding next season and a longer-term plan going forward.
To implement the entire flood mitigation and climate adaptation plan will take about 10 years and it will require additional funding sources. Council passed a motion last week to finance up to $5
Million of our own funding for this plan, and we have applied to both provincial and federal governments for additional funding to assist with these projects.
I recently travelled to Ottawa and Edmonton to learn more about the funding process and discussed why this project is important to our community and why it should be prioritized. We are one of many communities applying for grants to the provincial and federal governments. We expect answers on our applications by the end of March, 2019, and we will keep you informed on our progress.
A project of this magnitude is the responsibility of the entire community. We need you to do your part and stay informed on becoming flood ready. Be sure to visit www.dinosaurvalley.com and register to receive our newsletter on-line or call us at 403 823 6300, if you wish to have the newsletters mailed to your home. We will commence the newsletters in January.
Council is committed to leading the way and changing the channel on flood-readiness and together, we can protect Drumheller and shape a prosperous future for our entire community.
PLEASE REGISTER FOR OUR FLOOD READINESS COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER TO GET THE LATEST INFORMATION ON BEING FLOOD READY BY SPRING 2019 OR CALL US AT 403-823-6300 IF YOU WISH TO HAVE THE NEWSLETTER MAILED TO YOUR HOME